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It's 'Black Hole Friday'! Take a Break from Shopping to Celebrate with NASA (Video)

Happy Black Hole Friday!

NASA is trying to rebrand the spend-happy day after Thanksgiving, inspiring us to appreciate the wonders of the universe by contemplating its most extreme objects: black holes (opens in new tab).

As part of this effort, the agency released a new video today (Nov. 29) called "5 Things: Black Holes (opens in new tab)" that lays out the basics of these light-gobbling behemoths.

"If you're not shopping, or on a break between stores, let yourself get sucked in to all this great material we have on black holes," NASA officials wrote in a statement on the agency's homepage (opens in new tab) today (Nov. 29). "See you on the other side of the event horizon."

NASA transformed its homepage to black hole central for Black Hole Friday 2019.

NASA transformed its homepage (opens in new tab) into black hole central for Black Hole Friday 2019. (Image credit: NASA)

The event horizon is a black hole's famous "point of no return" beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape. 

The new video explains this, of course, as well as the difference between stellar-mass black holes and supermassive black holes, the basics of how gravity works (massive objects warp space-time) and more.

So, chew on this ample food for thought today if the frenzy of Black Friday consumerism has got you down. And if you want yet more inspiration, check out the first-ever direct photos of a black hole's silhouette, which were released earlier this year by the Event Horizon Telescope team.

Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook

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Mike Wall
Mike Wall

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com (opens in new tab) and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

  • AngryLiberal
    The renditions are remarkably inconsitent. What also caught my attention was the clip @01:42. The fabric of space-time looking like a long white line. What is the fabric made of by the way?

    I wish you all a weekend filled with love and light.
    Reply
  • rod
    Okay, I enjoyed views of the waxing crescent Moon, Venus, and Jupiter the evening of Thanksgiving, low in SW sky shortly after sunset. I also enjoyed views of 4 Vesta asteroid using my telescope and binoculars, and on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, my family enjoyed some views of various open star clusters like the double double in Perseus, Pleiades in Taurus, others in Auriga and Cassiopeia. Early black Friday (0600 EST) I viewed Arcturus and TYC1472-1427-1 stars, close together using binoculars. This was much more enjoyable than chasing black holes and much easier to see too :)
    Reply